Gainesville, Georgia — The school system in the city of Gainesville has hired 10 armed guards to patrol all schools in the district.
Each elementary and middle school will have its own armed guards, and Gainesville High School will have two.
Larry Spruill on Channel 2 Parents in Gainesville who spoke to them said they were happy to send their children to school because of this.
“Knowing that my son will be cared for and protected while he goes to school is actually comforting to me,” said Sheria Johnson.
That’s what makes Sheria Johnson so reassuring. She has a son who attends Mandy Her Mill Her Arts Academy in Gainesville. “This makes me worry a little less,” Johnson said.
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Superintendent Jeremy Williams said more than 50 people applied for the position. His 10 guards employed bring him 296 years of combined experience in law enforcement, military, and private investigative services.
“Think of it as another layer. Whether you’re going to a sporting event, or a concert, or wherever you’re going, you’ll see an extra layer of safety and security,” Williams said.
All security guards will report to Bonner Burton, the new safety manager who has been with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office for 27 years.
Guards will begin duty Tuesday and undergo ongoing firearms training.
“Combined with our desire for positive interaction with students and visitors, that becomes our goal,” Burton said. “Our student safety is a combination of high visibility, relationship management and diligence in building and maintaining a safe campus.”
Richard Elliot of Channel 2 first reported on the district’s plans in July. The district approved his $1 million plan to hire security guards.
At a school board meeting, Williams acknowledged it was a response to an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Many are wondering, will teachers be armed too?
“I have often been asked why we don’t arm teachers and administrators. After all, my teachers are trained to teach and their job is to educate and prepare children to do so.” Our administrators have to run the school,” Williams says.
Armed guards are because there aren’t enough city officers to place them in every school, in addition to the school resource officers provided by the Gainesville Police Department.
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